Monday, June 12, 2006

Is Google Killing the Internet?

An interesting post from The Motley Fool claims that Google is destroying the Internet with its AdSense program. The idea that monetizing contextual ads encourages the creation of link farms, splogs, and scraper sites, which in turn lessens the quality of search results (as well as discourages businesses from paying into the system) is a legitimate qualm that Google remains tight-lipped about. Google has already settled one click fraud case for $90 million (a mere drop in the bucket) and the extent of click fraud is still debated, though no one debates that it is a big business.

As is apparent, there is no incentive for Google to try and halt click fraud. Not only does Google profit from the tactic, but when they try and remove sites that violate its policies it gets sued.

In terms of copyright, there should be cause for concern in how some of these sites that exploit Google use and misuse the content from other sites. While it may not be full-fledged copyright infringement (and probably shouldn't be considered as such in most cases), plagiarism is becoming more of an issue online. But at the same time, Google essential allows us to ferret out plagiarism more easily than ever before. How to figure it all out I don't know, but to say Google is destroying the Internet may be a bit of a stretch, highlighting the point that just because something changes doesn't necessarily mean its a sign that the world is going to end.
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